SWIFT pilots new service for low value cross-border payments
SWIFT announces today plans for a new service to help banks improve the experience for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and consumers who send low value cross-border payments. The service will enable these bank customers to make faster, easier, predictable and competitively priced payments all around the world.
SWIFT is working with over 20 banks to develop the service, which builds on the strength of SWIFT gpi and the high-speed rails that have already transformed the business of high-value payments. This new initiative will enable consumers and SMEs to benefit from predictable payments, with costs and processing times known upfront, and real-time status available to both originator and beneficiary customers via their financial institutions.
The new service is another building block for SWIFT’s ambitious new strategy, announced last month, to enable instant and frictionless transactions from one account to another, anywhere in the world. A key aspect of that strategy is helping financial institutions strengthen their position in the B2B space, whilst expanding their capabilities in fast growing segments such as SME and consumer payments.
David Watson, Chief Strategy Officer at SWIFT, said, “The success of SWIFT gpi, which is used by thousands of banks and carries billions of payments globally, enables ever-faster transaction processing times and transparency. And it now provides us with the opportunity to transform the experience in the SME and consumer payment markets. We expect that our new gpi initiative for low value cross-border payments will similarly have widespread adoption and help us deliver our vision of making payments brilliantly simple for everyone.”
Key pillars underpinning the new low-value cross border service include:
- Easy to use: The service will have a simple and streamlined user experience with security ingrained at every level.
- Fast payments: Tighter service levels between banks will increase speed. A single payment format will increase straight through processing, while existing services such as pre-validation will remove frictions that cause delays.
- Competitive prices: Predictable and competitive processing fees are agreed bilaterally between financial institutions, enabling them to provide their end customers with upfront transparency on fees.
- Secure: Payments will be exchanged through the secure SWIFT network and cleared through best-in-class channels for international payments.
Last week, the first payments through the new service were successfully exchanged between banks who are helping to develop it. These banks represent a global geographical spread and include: Bank of China, Barclays, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, KEB Hana Bank, MYbank, National Australia Bank, SMBC, Standard Bank, StoneX, UniCredit and Wells Fargo. An additional seven banks will participate in a pilot phase starting at the end of October: Banca Intesa, BBVA, DNB, HSBC, Sberbank of Russia, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered.
The service is expected to be available to all gpi financial institutions in 2021.